Permanent Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Officer and Resident Grievance Officer appointed: Twitter Inc Informs Delhi High Court

  • Shaheen Parween
  • 03:29 PM, 06 Aug 2021

Senior Adv Sajan Poovayya appearing for Twitter Inc today informed the Delhi High Court that a permanent Chief Compliance Officer Cum Nodal Contact Officer and a Resident Grievance Officer has been appointed in compliance of the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

On ASG Chetan Sharma appearing for Union Government's submission that he would seek instructions on the affidavit, the single Judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli listed the matter for next hearing on August 10.

In the previous hearing the Court had  granted last opportunity to Twitter Inc to file a "better" affidavit with regard to the appointment of Chief Compliance Officer, Resident Grievance Officer and Nodal Officer in compliance with the new IT Rules.

Senior Adv Sajan Poovayya appearing for Twitter Inc in the previous hearing had informed the Court that an affidavit had been filed according to which the word "interim" had been removed for the officers appointed in compliance of the new IT Rules.

Poovayya further informed the Court that a "contingent worker" had been appointed as the Chief Compliance officer and Resident Grievance Officer and in this regard a personal affidavit had been filed by Twitter's Vinay Kumar who stated that he is the resident grievance officer as well as the chief compliance officer for Twitter.

Poovayya further submitted that as regards the nodal contact person, an offer of employment was made via a third party contractor who had verbally accepted the offer and after appropriate background check he will assume his responsibilities and the same will be communicated to the Ministry of Information and Technology.

Justice Palli however not satisfied with the affidavit which used the word "contingent" said "What are you trying to imply by contingent worker? This is not compliance. How do you have a contingent worker through a third party contractor. You say you will make an endeavour to appoint the nodal officer within 8 weeks. Is this a joke?"

ASG Chetan Sharma appearing for Union government and Adv G Tushar Rao appearing for the petitioner argued that the same person cannot be appointed for two different posts and it was against the rules.

Poovayya however submitted that the rules does not disallow a person to be the Chief Compliance officer and Resident Grievance Officer. The rules only prohibit a person from holding the position of Chief Compliance officer and a nodal officer.

The Case pertains to a plea filed by Advocate Amit Acharya  alleging that Twitter has not complied with the Centre’s IT Rules to appoint a resident grievance officer, seeking directions to the social media platform to comply with the rules

The petitioner has stated that the Information Technology Rules came into effect from February 25 and the Centre had given three months to every social media intermediary, including Twitter, to comply with them.

The petitioner stated that he came to know about the alleged non-compliance when he tried to lodge a complaint against a couple of tweets.

Case Title: Amit Acharya vs Union of India and Ors